Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - October 14, 2020

Confessions are Saturday 4 -- 5:00 P.M. in the Garden of the School of Religious Education

Weekend Masses: SA 5:30 P.M., SU 8:00 A.M., SU 10 A.M.

Daily Mass: 8 A.M. (M, Tu, W)



Greetings my good friends,


Today I had a hectic morning with dog walking at 6:30 A.M., Mass at 8 A.M., and the Eye Doctor at 8:30 A.M. (My right eye has been sore for a few weeks, but I’m now on meds for my eye and hot towel presses so hopefully it will heal.) Then with Steve Flint’s advice, my pond pump needed replacement for the 6 goldfish and off to Home Depot for that. Happy fish again!


I bought these goldfish at the start of the Covid lockdown and, over the months, they have thrived. When I am on my days off, Fr. Bill feeds them twice a day and, at this stage, they know him like they know me. These little fish cost 32 cents each, but they have brought so much joy to Fr. Bill and me over these months. We have watched them grow and they have learned to trust us. When I got them, at first, they were full of fear, but now they are so calm and content.


When one shares love with any living creature, trust increases and a transformation takes place for the good. It’s often in little things we experience the greatest miracles. Our goldfish in their little pond bring peace and contentment whenever we pass by. They immediately swim to the surface looking for food; they trust us! 


In a society where we witness so much strife, division, bitterness, anger, fury, selfishness, ego, hatred, lies, and a lack of trust in one another, how can we justify these behaviors and call one’s self a Christian? The first reading at today’s Mass tells us if we practice these traits in our daily lives, we will never enter the Kingdom of God. St. Paul tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If every single person, particularly we who are Catholics and Christians, could embrace the fruits of the spirit in our lives, can you just imagine the transformation of the USA? I challenge everyone to embrace the fruits of the Holy Spirit into your lives and put your total trust in God Who created us all equal.


Last Sunday so many parishioners attended all the Masses. Thank you for your joyful presence. Blessings upon all who watched Mass online on the parish website.


Once again, many thanks for all the volunteers who keep our outdoor church facilities sanitized before and after Mass. You are spectacular.


Love and blessings to all,

Fr. Gerard


In anticipation of the return to Pacific Standard Time, effective October 24, the Saturday Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 4 P.M. This will allow Mass to conclude and the altar to be cleared before sunset. Confessions will be from 3-3:45. P.M.


Scam Alert: Please do not respond to the newest scam in which Fr. Gerard asks you for immediate assistance. (Someone has set up a fictitious g-mail account with a misspelling of Father’s name.) Ignore any request for money or assistance which does not direct funds to the church office or Faith Direct. These email and text messages seem very authentic, using Fr. Gerard’s name to ask for gift cards or money for worthwhile endeavors. If you have a question about any solicitation, please contact the church office. (562) 498-6641


Fall Opportunity raffle tickets are still available! Each ticket costs $5. Proceeds will help the school purchase PPE equipment, like plexiglass shields for desks,  and provide financial aid to deserving families. The top three winning tickets will be awarded $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively. Tickets may be purchased in the school office or over the phone (562-597-0819) Monday to Thursday, 7:30 A.M. -- 3:00 P.M., or Friday from 7:30 A.M. -- 1 P.M. The last day to purchase tickets is Thursday, October 22nd. The drawing will take place on Friday, October 30th, and the winners will be notified shortly thereafter. GOOD LUCK!!   


All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day

November 1: All Saints’ Day is the day that our Church honors all who have died and now live with God as Saints in heaven. These saints include all whose who have been declared saints by the Church and many others known only to God.

November 2:  All Souls’ Day is the day in which our Church remembers all who have died as friends of God. We pray that our family members and friends may rest in peace. 


Prayer Ribbon Wall: Often the parish has had a book to write down the names of our deceased. This year Our Lady of Refuge will have a prayer ribbon wall.  On October 31 and November 1 at all Masses, we will have tables with ribbons for you to print the name of your beloved dead and then you can hang the prayer ribbon on the wall (fence to the right of the outdoor altar). Members of Our Lady of Guadalupe ministry will be there to assist you. The Filipino-American Ministry also helped with this effort. The ribbons will hang on the fence to remind us of our family and friends who have died and remind us to pray for them in a special way during this time.


Envelopes for the All Souls’ Novena are available at Mass. This novena commemorates all the faithful departed we have lost. Remember your beloved deceased. Check the small tables or ask an usher to provide an envelope. Return the envelopes in the collection by November 1; the novena begins November 2.


Fruits of the Spirit: Have you noticed the signs on the OLR lawn on Stearns? A great reminder of how we are to treat one another.


OLR Church Office (562) 498-6641    9:30 A.M. -- 2 P.M. (M-F)

5195 Stearns Street, Long Beach, CA 90815-2901

OLR website -- https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org

Betty Guevara, Parish Secretary -- betty@start.olrs.org

Shirl Giacomi, Director of Religious Education -- dre@start.olrs.org

(562) 597-3102           9 A.M. -- 3 P.M. (M-F)

Donnie Green, OLRS Interim Principal -- principal@start.olrs.org

OLR Catholic School -- (562) 597-0819     7:30 A.M. -- 3 P.M. (M-TH), 7:30 A.M. -- 1 P.M. (F)

5210 E. Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach, CA  90815

Team Refuge -- Holly Cavallaro, Coordinator (562) 822-9191

Faith Direct -- https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966  or the app Faith Direct – eGiving for Churches. To securely make a one-time gift to Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church, text a dollar amount to (562) 414-6831.

Realm -- https://onrealm.org (to access to your account) or the app Connect – our Church Community, ACS Technology Group (Realm Connect)